Sunday, August 03, 2008


I felt really strange, emptying that bag of ashes under that tree. What was supposed to be a gathering of friends and family turned out to be just Brendan and myself, and neither of us could think of anything appropriate to say.

We went to the spot, and, of course, it was crawling with bikers and RV-ers, so we hung around, hoping they would all go away. Most of them did, and those left were occupied with their own concerns, so we unobtrusively left the earthly remains of Jim there, and stood quietly, cherishing the act and the place.

I thought of Paul and Addy, as the wind sighed softly through the trees, and I thought about Jim. It seems so unfair that all that was left of that vibrant, brilliant, life-loving man was a little pile of ashes set among the wildflowers.

I thought I should cover those ashes with some leaves or something, but, in the end, left them to blow as they would.

I hope it has rained, and they are now a part of the earth.


  1. ((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))
    I'm so sorry that it wasn't exactly how you wanted it.
    But hun, what a beautiful place,and such a wonderful and loving thing you did. I know that it was harder on you then you let on.
    I do hope the rest of your trip was good for you. You certainly deserved it!

  2. when seeing the pictures, i felt the urge to toss some jolly ranchers in the air by the tree...

    Rest in Peace, jim.
    your life made a big difference to those who loved you and to those who were lucky enough to have had you as a teacher.

    i know it. i read their eulogies.

  3. Perfect, Ronni, even though it was just the two of you.
    My husband's ashes were placed under a newly-planted NZ native tree (Rimu) and watered in with a can of beer. It was also a somewhat awkward, unstructured, gathering. Nobody knew quite what to say, including me. I go back to that little tree every now and then. It's growing well, but I will never witness its full potential. The Rimu has a life span of 800-1000 years!

  4. My original plan was to water him in with cheap vodka, and have a little Glenlivet toast, but I was afraid that would worry Brendan, as we still had quite a few miles to go up a very winding road to get home to the hotel.

  5. I love the spot you picked.. You made me smile.

    What is the significance?

    (I thought for sure you were going for Arlington Cemetery)

  6. His mother's and father's ashes are scattered at the same spot. His mother chose it, when the two of them went with his father's ashes.

  7. That is really quite awesome that you made this trip for Jim. He was so blessed.

  8. That is a beautiful spot, Ronni. A tough day for you, I'm sure.

    Rest in peace, Jim.